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The Bilders is the professional appellation for numerous groups of musicians led by New Zealand singer-songwriter Bill Direen and performing his material. Direen began recording in 1978, when working as a community reporter and DJ for a provincial radio station (Radio Marlborough). He is known for literate lyrics, challenging song-subjects and a lo-fi recording style that has produced “many genuine classic compositions”.[1]

The first group performing publicly under the appellation appeared in 1980 performing material assembled or recorded between 1975 and 1980. The most recent group promoting itself under the appellation completed national tours in 2007 and 2008. However, Direen has always worked freely with independent musicians, and collaborations are usually united under the appellation The Bilders. In 2008 he worked with Jon Evans in Berlin on a project involving original texts framed by the beats of Parisian DJ Fred Morvan with further musical ambience from Evans, Dave Allen (The Nasty Party) and guest Thomas Geigenschrey. Since 2009 he has been developing a concert set of thirty songs presented in both English and French with guitarist Nikolas Kapétanovic. The duo are known to French audiences as Bill & le killer. The songs in these sets are poetic in nature, and Brechtian in the sense of inviting a discursive response. Many are original or authorised translations from the French or German or Old English.


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